Prof. Fitzgerald and Saga the horse in the highlands above the Mosfell Valley region of Iceland

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Christina M. Fitzgerald, Professor of English, attended the Nineteenth Biennial International Congress of the New Chaucer Society (http://newchaucersociety.org/) in Reykjavik, Iceland, this summer, where she presented a paper and co-organized a seminar. The paper, “Book History and ‘User-Created Content’: Commonplace Books in the Medieval Literature Classroom,” was part of a panel called “Teaching Things with Books.” It detailed an assignment Prof. Fitzgerald gave to her Spring 2014 students in ENGL 4400: British Literature: Medieval Period, a class which focused on manuscript collections, including the “commonplace book,” a collection created by a reader for his or her own reading purposes. The seminar, “The Boundaries of Medieval Drama,” was co-organized with John T. Sebastian of Loyola University New Orleans; Prof. Fitzgerald chaired the seminar. The entire conference program can be viewed here: http://newchaucersociety.org/pages/entry/2014-congress.

Prof. Fitzgerald also took the opportunity of being in Iceland to do some experiential research for teaching early medieval literature. She’s seen here with an Icelandic horse named Saga from the Laxnes Horse Farm (http://www.laxnes.is/). The small but sturdy Icelandic horse breed is descended from the horses brought by the original Viking Age settlers of Iceland and remains very similar to the horses ridden by the Anglo-Saxons as well as the Scandinavian peoples in the early Middle Ages. The area where the horse farm is located and where Prof. Fitzgerald rode, Mosfellsdalur (the Mosfell Valley), was an important region in Viking Age Iceland and features prominently in Egil’s Saga. (It is also the region where the Nobel Prize winning, 20th-century novelist, Halldor Laxness, lived and wrote.)

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Christina M. Fitzgerald, Professor of English, attended the Nineteenth Biennial International Congress of the New Chaucer Society (http://newchaucersociety.org/) in Reykjavik, Iceland, this summer, where she presented a paper and co-organized a seminar. The paper, “Book History and ‘User-Created Content’: Commonplace Books in the Medieval Literature Classroom,” was part of a panel called “Teaching Things with Books.” It detailed an assignment Prof. Fitzgerald gave to her Spring 2014 students in ENGL 4400: British Literature: Medieval Period, a class which focused on manuscript collections, including the “commonplace book,” a collection created by a reader for his or her own reading purposes. The seminar, “The Boundaries of Medieval Drama,” was co-organized with John T. Sebastian of Loyola University New Orleans; Prof. Fitzgerald chaired the seminar. The entire conference program can be viewed here: http://newchaucersociety.org/pages/entry/2014-congress.

Prof. Fitzgerald also took the opportunity of being in Iceland to do some experiential research for teaching early medieval literature. She’s seen here with an Icelandic horse named Saga from the Laxnes Horse Farm (http://www.laxnes.is/). The small but sturdy Icelandic horse breed is descended from the horses brought by the original Viking Age settlers of Iceland and remains very similar to the horses ridden by the Anglo-Saxons as well as the Scandinavian peoples in the early Middle Ages. The area where the horse farm is located and where Prof. Fitzgerald rode, Mosfellsdalur (the Mosfell Valley), was an important region in Viking Age Iceland and features prominently in Egil’s Saga. (It is also the region where the Nobel Prize winning, 20th-century novelist, Halldor Laxness, lived and wrote.)

The English Department notes with sadness the passing of Professor Emeritus and former Chair John Boening.  His obituary in the Toledo Blade and a recent article (6/21/14), also in the Blade, tell much about him for those who did not have the good fortune to know him personally.

A video on the on the University of Toledo YouTube channel shows some of the winners receiving their awards at the 2014 Shapiro Gala. See the video clip here:

Read the full story on the event and see the list of all the winners in our April 23 story: 2014 Annual Shapiro Writing Contest Winners Announced.

Four MA students in the English Department’s Concentration in ESL  attended the University of Toeldo Commencement ceremony in May 2014.  Shown in the photo are, from left, Sandra Lewinski (graduation expected Summer 2014), Lenah Al-Zahabeh, Ghada Itayem, and Yifan Zhao.  Prof. Douglas Coleman (graduate adviser for ESL and thesis committee chair of Lewinski, Itaymen, and Zhao) is with them.  (Al-Zahabeh’s thesis committee chair was Prof. Melinda Reichelt.)

Adam Tavel (MA English 2005) recently won the inaugural Permafrost Book Prize for his collection of poems Into the Primitive (University of Alaska Press, forthcoming).

http://permafrostmag.com/contests/1st-annual-permafrost-book-prize-in-poetry/.   He is also the author of The Fawn Abyss (Salmon, forthcoming) and the chapbook Red Flag Up (Kattywompus).  He is an associate professor of English at Wor-Wic Community College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Many congratulations, Adam!

admin on May 22nd, 2014

Erin Green (now Green-Violette) writes to tell us what’s happened to her since her spring 2013 graduation:

I am a UT graduate twice: with an undergrad degree from UT and with a graduate degree. I graduated in May 2013 with a MA in English w/ a concentration in ESL. This past year has been super busy, but I gained a lot of experience being an adjunct at UT in the Composition department, at Owen’s Community College and at the University of Findlay in their Intensive English Program. I have been at Findlay for one year now, and I absolutely love it! Again, I teach in their Intensive English Language Program (officially called the IELP). The IELP program at Findlay is growing quickly, so they needed to hire two full-timers to begin in August. I applied, went through the interview process, and was hired! I just got the call about two days ago from the Dean of Faculty. So, in August my official title will be “Instructor of English as an International Language”. My teaching focus there will be on Advanced Writing and Reading. Honestly, I would not be where I am at without Dr. Reichelt, Dr. Coleman and Dr. Blakemore. They are great professors who thoroughly prepared me for what I would face in this profession. My current boss at the IELP, Dr. Erin Laverick, is encouraging me to pursue a Ph.D. in Composition & Rhetoric at Bowling Green, and I just may be doing that very soon! Just a note, too, I did get married, so I go by Erin Green-Violette. Thank you for taking notice of this accomplishment. You all have been SO good to me. I could not be more blessed and grateful.   I know you wanted a picture; I hope the one I attached is okay.​

Guy Szuberla gave a presentation on “W.R. Burnett’s ‘Dressing Up’: or, ‘Ain’t I Boul’ Mich’?’”  The presentation on Burnett’s short story was given at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature (E. Lansing, MI, 10 May 2014).

Note: Boul’ Mich does not refer to Boulevard St. Michel, Paris, but to Chicago’s Michigan Avenue (in the nineteen twenties sometimes called Boul’ Mich).

Fatima Esseili graduated from UT in 2006 with an M.A. in ESL and received her Ph.D. from Purdue  University in 2011. She has accepted a tenure-track faculty position in ESL at the University of Dayton beginning this fall. Fatima’s professional activities have included participation in national and international conferences in China and Lebanon. She is also the author of a chapter that appeared in K. M. Bailey and R. M. Damerow (Eds.), The teaching and learning of English in the Arabic speaking world. New York: Routledge.

Kyle Minor’s Praying Drunk has been reviewed in the NY Times Sunday Book Review, April 25, 2014.   Read the whole review here.  Read more about reviews of Kyle’s work at Sarabande’s web page where he is a featured author.

Assistant Professor Ben Stroud is the recipient of a 2014 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.  “Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of creative artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community. These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.”